Program Manager-Southwest Program

Company: Colorado Outward Bound School

Job Type: Seasonal

Job Description

Organizational Overview

The Colorado Outward Bound School (COBS) is a non-profit adventure-based education organization that emphasizes personal growth through challenge and experience.  For over 60 years our wilderness courses have focused on inspiring responsibility, teamwork, confidence, compassion, and environmental and community stewardship.


Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Colorado Outward Bound School celebrates diversity and strives to create an inclusive environment for all employees. We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, nation origin, age, genetic information, disability, veteran status, or any other basis covered by appropriate law. All employment is based on qualifications and business needs. Outward Bound has a zero-tolerance policy for incidents of child abuse and neglect and will report any suspected abuse or neglect.


Working at the Colorado Outward Bound School means joining a growth-minded community where we are actively creating a more inclusive organizational culture. Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion shows up at all levels of the organization – in our trainings, in our meetings, on our courses, and in our daily lives. This work can be challenging at times and we are committed to navigating it together to create a supportive and inclusive environment for our staff and our students. To foster a more welcoming outdoor community for all, we are working to address barriers related to race, culture, socioeconomics, ability, gender identity, sexual orientation, geographic location, and mental health.


Position Summary

The Southwest Program Manager works within the Program Leadership Team to support program operations. The Program Manager is an entry level position who is primarily responsible for course oversight. The Program Manager holds administrative responsibilities, serving as the primary overseer of Course Directors and field staff teams, as well as being accountable for ensuring a safe and quality experience for staff and students. Key Program Manager responsibilities include developing, training, coaching and mentoring staff in their capacity to deliver our educational framework, curriculum and ensure student outcomes are met.


Additional duties include staff performance: site management and course visits; and developing and maintaining records and resources.


Although we operate in several different environments, at our Southwest program there is an emphasis on river running. This position needs experience with whitewater, which includes the ability to coach, mentor and manage a variety of craft up to class IV whitewater. The position can have varying work agreement lengths. This current open position would start as soon as possible and continue through the middle of October. Work agreement lengths are based on program needs.



Key Duties and Responsibilities

Leadership & Management

·        Serves as a collaborative and active member of the Southwest Program Leadership Team to ensure high quality support for all courses and students.

·        Responsible for the delivery of high-quality student experiences through coaching and mentoring of field staff in alignment with school progressions, curriculum, and policies and procedures.

·        Develops and manages field staff through active coaching and mentoring through utilization of organizational performance and goals documents.

·        Under the direction of the Associate Program Director, the Program Manager is expected to address performance issues of field staff. This includes addressing policy violations, performance transgressions, and conduct infractions that are observed as well as reported by field staff.

·        Collaborates as part of the Program Leadership Team in implementing strategies to meet program needs, goals, and direction.


Safety & Risk Management

·        Writes and reviews incident reports and analyses to ensure thorough and accurate reporting. Leads staff team debriefs on select incidents. Ensures pertinent feedback from incidents are delivered and documented to field staff and program administrators.

·        Adheres to all local operating procedures, safety policies and emergency procedures outlined in the Field Staff Manual and Employee Handbook.

·        Participates in the Emergency On-Call system. Including responding to field calls and emergencies, decision-making, acting as incident command for field incidents and following the Emergency Response Plan.

·        Upholds guidelines, which align with policies and procedures, and maintain appropriate conduct and behavior expectations on course.

Manages student groups and handles field emergencies directly or through our Incident Support Network as requested.
Course Oversight

·        Responsible for ensuring safe, high-quality student experiences for assigned courses.

·        Delivers pre-course safety briefings and provides oversight and instruction regarding course itineraries.

·        Conducts supervisory visits to field operation sites. Oversees assigned trainings, courses, and technical sites as needed. Field work and logistical support as assigned, including driving school vehicles and students.

·        Collects, reviews, and files course end paperwork, updates and/or maintains electronic records and resources. Organizes and maintains staff, supervisor and program paperwork resources as assigned.

·        Actively coaches, and mentors field staff while behavior incidents occur on course.

Provides clear, effective and timely communication with Instructors, Course Directors, Supervisors or other staff. Committed to receiving, openly sharing, and resolving feedback that comes from staff.
Acts as a communication conduit between field staff and program leadership.
Clearly, professionally, and compassionately communicates with student families during and after course.
Community Building

·        Models and promotes a positive and inclusive community culture.

·        Assists with basecamp upkeep, standards, and systems, including shared oversight of staff housing.

·        Assists in planning and executing Southwest Program events and celebrations.



Special Projects

·        Work with assigned Associate Program Directors and other school leadership to support and coordinate staffing, performance management, logistics, itineraries, safety, curriculum, permitting, reservations, and facilities.

·        Connects with service partners to arrange logistics and ensure quality projects.

·        Fills trainer roles as assigned and supports development and implementation of field staff training.

·        Assists with pre-season and post-season programming preparation and shutdown.

·        Completes other duties as assigned.


Skills and Knowledge

·        Personal commitment to, and working knowledge of, the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Understanding of and commitment to Outward Bound program structures, mission and educational framework.
Proficiency and familiarity with several of the offered program activities such as; challenge course, backpacking, rafting, canoeing, canyoneering, and rock climbing.
Experience working with youth.
Experience as an adult educator; able to coach, mentor and develop staff.
Ability to demonstrate and mentor emotional regulation and balanced decision-making in stressful situations.
High level of professionalism with strong leadership attributes both in work and community environments.
Serve as a role model for students, staff and community, able to manage a range of student behaviors in a positive and professional manner.
·        Detail oriented with excellent organizational skills.

·        Able to prioritize and work on multiple projects simultaneously.

·        Proactive and effective communicator and collaborator.

·        Possess skills to inspire and promote a positive team culture.

·        Proficiency using the Microsoft Office platform.

·        Excellent driving skills and record. Experience in large vehicles with trailers preferred.


Work Experience

·        Minimum four years instructing and field leadership experience with Outward Bound or a similar wilderness expeditionary organization.

·        Supervision and experience related to course environments.

·        Wilderness First Responder, CPR, and Epinephrine certification.

·        Swift Water Rescue certification.

·        Mental Health First Aid certification.

·        Utah Food Handlers Certificate.

·        Must have held a driver’s license for over 5 years.


Physical Requirements

·        Based in Moab with some travel to other sites and locations as required.

·        Expect to work 5 days/week with work and on-call duties over weekends and/or holidays as needed.

·        Sitting at a desk or computer approximately 60% of the time.

·        Occasionally works in outdoor  weather conditions, including inclement conditions such as high heat, rain, mud, snow and cold.

·        Ability to participate in moderate to vigorous physical activity including but not limited to camping, backpacking, rafting, canoeing, canyoneering, and/or rock climbing.

·        Ability to bend, lift, kneel, crawl, and carry up to 65lbs.


Compensation and Benefits

·        Compensation: $3,333.33 – $3,750/month (Equivalent to a 12-month annual salary range of $40,000 – $45,000).

·        8-month salaried position (Middle of February through middle of October).

·        Optional on-site housing available.

·        56 hours of paid Sick Leave.

·        ProDeal eligible.


Application Process

Please submit resume and cover letter to Lance Plank (he/him), Southwest Program Director through link.

**Colorado Outward Bound School is an E-Verify Employer**


How to Apply

Please visit our website to complete the online application. https://www.cobs.org/connect/employment/
Posted on: February 1, 2024
Location: Moab, UT
Job Type: Seasonal
Job Starting Date:
March 1, 2024
Application Closing Date:
February 16, 2024